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Tennessee Craft Invites Artists to Apply

NASHVILLE, TN (September 7, 2022) — Tennessee Craft, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission, announces the opening of the 2023 Master Artist Apprentice Program (MAAP) apprentice application process. This mentoring program offers artists a unique opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary craft skills firsthand from master craft artists.

All artists in the program choose challenging goals that will advance their skills and knowledge as craft artists. The MAAP was created to boost artists to the next level of their professional development during an intensive six-month one-on-one apprenticeship, not typically available in most learning environments.

Deadline for apprentice applications is November 1, 2022. APPLY HERE:

Meet the 2023 Master Artists

Louis Colombarini (Clay) Dowelltown

For over 46 years, Louis Colombarini has been a self-employed ceramic artist. Louis received a B.A. in Art History from S.U.N.Y. at Geneseo and completed a four-year audit program in ceramics at Florida Atlantic University. His work has been in over 600 juried art shows and gallery exhibitions, receiving numerous awards and honors. Recognizing the need for craft awareness in rural communities, Louis co-founded Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, now in its 22nd successful year. He currently teaches all levels of wheel throwing in his home studio in Dowelltown. He also offers a one day clay experience to small groups working with clay for the first time.

Jim Masterson (Metal) Memphis

Jim Masterson has been working with metals at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis for 22 years. After receiving his B.A. from Southern Illinois University and M.F.A. from Miami University (Ohio) in Blacksmithing, Jim began working in the blacksmith shop at the Metal Museum. He is now the lead designer and head of the Metal Studio, producing commissions for private clients and public art projects in addition to personal work.

Louise Nuttle (Fiber/Textile) Jonesborough

A primarily self-taught fiber artist, Louise Nuttle is formally trained as a research scientist and approaches every fleece, new fiber blend and dye lot as an experiment, the results of which she uses to inform the next. She starts with locally-sourced natural animal fleeces to create small-batch, hand-dyed yarns and other preparations which she uses as the foundation for her one-of-a-kind woven and felted garments and accessories. Louise left her career in higher education in 2019 and opened her solo studio, Nuttle Fiber Art & Design, in Jonesborough, Tennessee, where she offers individual and small group instruction in spinning, weaving and felt-making.

To read the full bios of the 2023 Master Artists, visit

M Kelley, 2022 apprentice to Jennifer Sargent, master tapestry artist, says, “Working in this medium has dramatically informed and guided my personal weaving and spinning practice. I feel my final products are now both of finer quality and more to my personal aesthetic preference while still giving me a lot of conceptual room to explore in future work. In addition, I have already begun using the basic skills and techniques and passing them along to new students, giving me a new range of possible techniques to pass on. I am also hopeful that the work I have started here will provide a foundation for me to continue studying with others working in similar methods but in different schools of approach, such as with other indigenous weavers or fellow weavers also incorporating new media/new material into their processes.”

Awarded apprentices receive an $1,800 stipend to work with their chosen master from December 1, 2022 to June 15, 2023. For more information, email